C5 students from New England enjoy the scenery of the Wind River Range of Wyoming on their NOLS expedition in 2018. Photo by Kermelle Billy.
Lander, Wyo.—May 22, 2019—This summer, NOLS and the C5 Youth Association will celebrate the fifth year of their partnership to provide customized outdoor expeditions to hundreds of young leaders. With the mission to “inspire high-potential youth from risk-filled environments to pursue personal success,” C5 incorporates NOLS outdoor leadership courses as the third-year component of a five-year intensive program that includes year-round leadership mentoring, summer activities, community service, and overnight wilderness treks.
C5’s curriculum focuses on five characteristics: character-driven, community-focused, challenge-ready, college-bound, and commitment to a better future. The NOLS C5 Bridges Leadership Expedition is strategically positioned during the third summer of the C5 Youth Program as an opportunity for their leaders to expand their horizons, though it remains only one support component of the program. “C5 provides their leaders with outdoor opportunities they otherwise would not have. The skills that they gain through their NOLS experience truly benefit them later in life when they enter into college and places of employment,” says Joanne Fay, Chief Operating Officer of C5 New England. C5 is a unique youth leadership and college-prep program because of their integral outdoor curriculum.
NOLS C5 expeditions are seven-day backpacking expeditions in Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, and New York. On course, students learn to camp, navigate, cook, and work together to solve problems and overcome challenges. All NOLS expeditions teach leadership, technical skills, risk management, and environmental studies. For C5 expeditions, NOLS and C5 designed a curriculum that emphasizes lessons that will support leaders on their post-secondary journey. For example, reading a topographic map can translate to reading a college campus map and climbing a steep rock face can equate to climbing towards graduation. Leadership journals used on course allow for reflection and self-awareness, asking questions like, “What are two leadership traits that you possess that help you influence a group’s success?” and “How will you know if you’ve had a successful trip?”
Naylani Monteiro (left) and Jaida Taylor (right) cook mac and cheese on a Whisperlite stove during their C5 NOLS expedition in Wyoming in 2018. Photo by Kermelle Billy.
“Almost all of our students reflect on NOLS as the most mentally and physically influential component of their experience with us,” notes Fay. “The big goal is to push students out of their comfort zone, learn to advocate for themselves, and work with their peers in times of need.” All C5 leaders graduate from high school, and 95% secure a post-secondary opportunity (college, technical school, etc.). Of all graduating classes across C5, 94% of students enroll in college. In addition, C5 leaders provide 55,000 hours of community service each year. Learn more about how C5 inspires college-bound youth on their website.
NOLS Custom Education can work with your organization to encourage college readiness, practical life skills, and leadership through wilderness and leadership education. Learn more about our clients and curriculum here.
NOLS is the world’s leading wilderness school. A nonprofit based in Lander, WY, the school provides students the opportunity to step forward – whether on an expedition, wilderness medicine or custom course. Students of all ages graduate from their courses prepared to lead their communities in a changing world. Graduates have a lifelong desire for leadership, commitment to continued skills development, and ongoing education. Since 1965, NOLS has embraced and explored the unknown through outdoor and classroom-based experiences. To learn more about NOLS, call 800.710.6657 or visit www.nols.edu.
The mission of the C5 Youth Program is to inspire high-potential youth from risk-filled environments to pursue personal success, to prepare them for leadership roles in college, work and community, and to motivate them to become role models for others.
We do this by engaging middle and high school students from under resourced communities in five years of intensive leadership experiences including year-round leadership development programs, signature summer activities, community service, and preparation for continuing education and career development. To learn more about C5, visit www.c5leaders.org.
NOLS Media Contact: Sophie Komornicki